Western Rifle Shooters Association

Do not give in to Evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Robb: On Adaptive Leadership

From John Robb's Global Guerrillas:

DON VANDERGRIFF: On Adaptive Leadership

Obviously, warfare and conflict in the 21st Century present new challenges. It's not only hideously complex, mercurial, and lightning fast -- it's an environment where missteps or brain dead actions of an individual or small group can unwind the work of an entire Army within hours.

The solution to these challenges isn't achieved by:

  • automating new layers of oversight/controls on individual behavior or
  • hermetically sealing off the organization's members from the outside world or
  • developing ever more complex doctrines that appear to solve every contingency.

Instead, the answer is to train leaders to think adaptively.* So, how do you accomplish this? How do you train leaders to think adaptively?** The best answer I have found so far is found in the work of Don Vandergriff. He's done more deep thinking and generated more experience actually training adaptive leaders than anybody else. Here's some links to his work on the topic:

First, his books:

Here are some articles that use his adaptive leadership training methodology.

Assembly Article: No Approved Solutions for Asymmetric Warfare (Foster)

OBTE: Defining the Aim Point for Reconnaissance Leader Training

* I could go into a long explanation for why this is so, but frankly Don does a better job than I would.

** I consider adaptive thinking is a requirement for all 21st Century organizations -- corporate, military, agency, NGO, or insurgent. Even further: the best organizations make adaptive thinking a requirement for ALL of its members.

Here's his contact info for more info:

CELL: 571-229-0962
EMAIL: vandergriffdonald AT usa.net
WEB: http://www.donvandergriff.com


Anonymous Black Flag 14 said...

Doctrine and orthodoxy are the death of creativity and innovation, and worse, of good soldiers who are doomed to follow idiotic orders from moronic politicians who know nothing of war, or leadership, or sacrifice.

December 17, 2009 at 3:28 PM  

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